Lamia Rashid & Najaha Nauf
June 3, 2020 – Protests against police brutality erupted in nearly every major American city due to the death of George Floyd. One video which surfaced on Twitter from Saturday’s protests is of a brawl in downtown Chicago involving a woman wearing a purple hijab. An officer who has yet to be identified is seen attacking the woman and forcibly removing her scarf.
The incident took place at the corner of Washington and Clark St, directly across from Chicago’s City Hall and it’s infamous Picasso statue, a popular attraction for tourists.
People from around the world took to Twitter to condemn this behavior in solidarity with the victim, many calling for the video to be removed for her privacy.
YOU!! NEVER!! TAKE!! OFF!! A!! WOMAN’S!! HIJAB!!
— sadia⁷ (@achooyoung) May 31, 2020
ripped off a hijab, kicked a pregnant woman and made her have a miscarriage, maced a child, threw a woman down so hard she had a seizure yet they’re considered heroes
— petal (@cherrysunfIower) May 31, 2020
The video circulating was inaccurately said to have taken place at a Los Angeles protest. Upon further review of the video, it’s evident that the incident happened in Chicago, which isn’t to say that a similar incident didn’t happen in Los Angeles.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time a Chicago police officer has forced the removal of a woman’s veil. In 2016, a Muslim woman sued the Chicago Police Department for ripping off her hijab and niqab and calling her a terrorist.
The Chicago Police Department is the second largest municipal police department in the United States after the New York Police Department. Founded in 1835, it is one of the world’s oldest modern police forces in operation. The department’s use of force policy specifically states:
“Force used in response to a person’s lawful exercise of First Amendment rights (e.g., protected speech, lawful demonstrations, observing or filming police activity, or criticizing a Department member or conduct) is prohibited.”
The officer shown has not yet been identified and we are actively seeking any information leading to his identification so we can seek justice for this young woman. If you know something that could help please reach out.